Wednesday, November 24, 2010


I was able to shed  fifteen pounds in the last three months because I changed my routine.  I made small changes in my diet, made sure I ran at least ten miles a week and did bootcamp every other Wednesday.  Now it's finals time, the holidays are here, and I'm losing my routine.  Long runs have been cut short because of injury, weather and travel.  I'm having to make more food decisions because when and where I eat is not necessarily in my control and it's generally a little hectic around here.

My life is made easier with routines.  From what I eat and when, to where I shop, who I see and where I go, I love the calm and reassurance of repetitive activities.  I like knowing that I can count on some sort of consistency, even if it's rather trivial.  In fact, I had a near meltdown earlier in the semester when I had to drive out to another campus for a class once a week.  I had never been to the building and didn't know where to park or even where the classrooms were.  Wouldn't you know I got so flustered I sat in the wrong classroom for fifteen minutes (in all fairness, so did another classmate - it was confusing!). 

Having a routine also relieves some stress. Each semester brings a new schedule and putting certain things on auto-pilot can be helpful.  For example, I know that most Sundays I will do two loads of laundry, go grocery shopping and vacuum the apartment.  One night a week I'll run and have dinner with Vani and I don't have to think about hitting the gym because I do it every Tuesday through Thursday at lunch. Studying is even built in so procrastination is harder. 

The months of November and December pose a unique conundrum for me.  I'm traveling, studying, going to holiday parties, shopping and running.  I've been skipping my regular workouts, getting take-out instead of going to the grocery store and spending time with my girl friends, not vacuuming or doing laundry.  It might sound lame, but routine gives me consistency, something to count on and just the smidgen of control I need in my daily life. I'll be away from home for the next three days so my schedule will be completely out of whack, but it's good practice I suppose.  I plan on being too busy and having too much fun to miss my dull routine. 

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Holiday Buzz

More like holiday buzzkill.  I'm unbelievably excited to go home for Thanksgiving this year.  I haven't spent a turkey day with my family since I was 22 and it's been way too long since I've seen my little brothers.  But finals are getting in the way of my excitement!

Before I leave in less than three days, I have a presentation and a group paper due.  Two days after I get back I have a cumulative final, the day after that another group paper and presentation and then I get an entire week to study for my Global Capital Markets final and rest up for my latest half marathon. 

Luckily, the majority of the papers are done, I'm not too worried about the finals and I've been training for the half marathon.  But it's officially Thanksgiving season and between the end of the semester and the lack of real holiday spirit in LA, it might as well be August around here.

I haven't put up a Christmas tree in two years and I doubt I'm going to do so again this year.  It's not that I don't have the time or space, but by the time I'm done with finals and running, I'll be a week and a half away from going to Detroit until after the new year.  My Christmas tree is a little sparse and all my good ornaments are packed away at my mom's house, but I'm sure the act of putting on some holiday music, boiling the mulling spices and decorating the apartment would put me in a jolly mood.  However, I most likely won't do it because I know I'm the only one who will get to enjoy it.  And at this point, I'm not sure I wouldn't enjoy a nap even more.

Because I'm pretty much is school mode all the time around here, I measure things by midterms, finals, and semesters. Gina asked if I wanted to to go Coachella today and my immediate thought was not "oh, that's something I've always wanted to do" but "I hope that falls in between semesters, not before finals".  I know that I have less than three weeks left until I'm done with the semester and that a week from now I'll be crazed with school work, but I'm going back to Detroit for 72 hours this week so it will all kinda be put on pause.  I just hope I can pause it enough to really enjoy the time home with my family.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Wedding Post

I promised Michael I'd write a post about Robyn's wedding.  So here goes. 

A lot of people don't know this about me, but I'm an extremely lucky girl; I have two families.  When I studied abroad in London in college, I shared a flat with a couple of Brits and a few Americans, two of whom would become some of my closest friends (Jenica and Shaum).  I ended up moving to LA over five years ago to work for Jenica's father and the Gerber family immediately took me in as one of their own.  Jenica's cousin, who has become an older sister figure to me, got married at a beautiful sunset ceremony on Sunday.

I haven't been to a ton of weddings in my day, but there is a distinct difference between a friend's wedding and that of a family member.   And I have to admit, this one was the best of both.  I got to enjoy everything about the day without having to deal with all the family dynamics, but I truly felt like I was at home. We were the first to get there, one of the last to leave, and I danced around all night (I mean, the groom's mother had me lead the conga line - I was a hit). 

It is always such a wonderful occasion to celebrate two people finding each other. It gives us single girls hope, but it also makes me think.  I truly believe that everything happens for a reason, but the older I get and the more people I know, I start to wonder if there is one person out there for all of us.  Or if there are indeed many.  Sometimes it amazes me how perfect two people can be for each other, and how once they meet it all just falls into place.  On the other hand, I'm pretty sure I could be happy with a life with any number of men. 

Robyn was one of the most beautiful brides I've ever seen.  She's tall, graceful and mature on an ordinary day.  Add to that a custom-made gown and the glow of marriage, and you have one gorgeous bride. Plus she's nine years older than me, so she's that much more mature. 

One thing I've realized lately is that in an ideal world, we really do spend our twenties growing up.  It's amazing how different I feel, look and act now than when I was twenty-five.  Heck, I'm not the same girl I was six months ago.  It's taken a lot of hard work and reflection but I'm learning how to be a better version of myself every day.  While I'm not always thrilled to live the crazy life of a single girl, part of me is glad that I have had all this time to myself and that I didn't meet someone amazing when I wasn't the best version of myself.  Life is one big learning experience, so I'll never stop growing and maturing (hopefully), but I'm terribly grateful that I've had the experiences in my life (good and bad) that have led me to who I am now. 

Sunday, November 7, 2010


Because I made the decision to move out of Detroit, and I wanted to take a job in glamorous LA, and I had all these plans for a life that was bigger and better than the suburban boredom of my youth, I never allowed myself to miss home.  (I grew up in the suburbs, but I usually just say Detroit - or Michigan - for simplification purposes.)  And for the most part, I don't actually miss Michigan.  I miss my family and my favorite little haunts (Moosejaw, The Duck, Dunkin Donuts coffee) occasionally, but it's pretty much a "been there, done that" thing for me. 

So it struck me the other day when I was talking to my best friend from high school who also lives in LA.  She moved out here after a year or so in Paris and some other various traipsings across the globe, while I moved here for a job that was going to get me out of Ohio.  She was telling me how much she missed Michigan.  The cider mills, the changing leaves, the snow, the pace, her family.  How could she miss Michigan when she's been to so many other great places?

I feel guilty every time I say I'm homesick because I know that I could be back in the Midwest right now.  I was laid off twice in two years (hello financial crisis) and could have seized those opportunities to change up my life and head home (Chicago or Detroit) with my tail between my legs.  But something was keeping me in California.  Something inside of me was telling me that I had things to take care of and accomplish in LA before I could go anywhere else.

In what has been a never-ending quest to rationalize all that I've done (and not done) in the six years since I graduated from college, I find myself taking a tally.  Especially now that I've decided to go to my ten year high school reunion when I'm back in Detroit for Christmas, I've been mentally making a list of all the things I've accomplished, what I value and who I've become. 

I don't have the typical trappings or milestones of a lot of my peers.  I'm not married, I don't have kids, I don't own a home, I haven't traveled the world.  But I will have run four half-marathons, I have made incredible friends, I captained a kickball team for five seasons, found an industry I'm passionate about, lived thousands of miles away from my family on my own, had crazy silly adventures and am just months away from finishing business school.  And a lot of that would not have been possible if I still lived in Michigan. 

When the weather gets cooler, the days get shorter and the holidays draw near, I undoubtedly get homesick and feel guilty about it.  Luckily this year I'm actually going home for Thanksgiving to see my family, godparents and cousins.  It's a short trip but my homesickness is mildly ameliorated by the fact that I can be there when it matters.  And as a bonus, I do believe both The Duck and Franklin Cider Mill will still be open. 

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Pretty Red Lip Gloss

Oh, such a fun title!  It was fun, really.  Friday night I went out with an older coworker of mine.  And by (barely) older, I mean like four years.  She's married, successful, wonderful, mature and just that much wiser than me. And she's gorgeous.  So yes, it was a little bit of an intimidating prospect to go out on the town with her and her friends.  (Thank goodness for Halloween costumes - we could all look like idiots.)

So my natural instinct was to hit the mall before we could hit Main Street.  Not that I could wear anything new (I was dressing up like a cowgirl - not too terribly dorky) but I needed a little pick-me-up.  So I stopped by the make-up counter where Dana, the unsuspecting Macy's employee, humored me for ten minutes while I tried to describe to her exactly what I wanted. 

I didn't learn how to apply make-up until I was in college.  And while my morning make-up routine changed drastically when I started working in commercial real estate, I've always kept it simple enough that I can do it in ten minutes in the car on the way to the office.  My incredibly young-looking mother maintains her complexion with a little moisturizer and chap stick so I come by my affinity for simplicity naturally. 

Every lip gloss, lip stick, etc. that I've owned has been pale pink and girly.  Pretty, but not sexy.  I mean, I'm going to wear it to work (heaven forbid I have a separate one for work and one for going out), class and the bar so it has to be neutral.  Apparently at twenty-eight I didn't really know what neutral meant so Dana and I had a good laugh.  I wanted color, but not like a crazy red lipstick.  I wanted neutral color (??) apparently.  Anyhow, the jargon still alludes me but this redish clearish gloss is actually quite flattering and makes me feel (look?) a tad bit more grown up. 

So a little pretty red lip gloss changed my night.  OK, I lie.  It didn't.  But it changed how I felt.  I'm sure nobody noticed (I went out with strangers; they didn't know me pre-lip gloss), but I felt like I could handle the new situation with a little sparkle on my lips. And a ridiculous cowboy hat.